Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Chorley and YouTube
Contact: Matthew Pawlyszyn Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Decision: The minutes of the meeting Thursday, 1 July 2021 of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were approved as a correct record.
Declarations of Any Interests
Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.
If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.
No interests were declared.
Members of the public who have requested the opportunity to ask a question(s) on an item on the agenda will be asked to put their question(s) to the Committee. Each member of the public will be allowed to ask one supplementary question within his/her allocated 3 minutes.
There were no public questions.
Executive Cabinet Minutes
To consider the Executive Cabinet minutes of the meeting held on Thursday, 16 September 2021.
Decision: The minutes of the meeting Thursday, 16 September 2021 of the Executive Cabinet were noted.
To view the latest notice of Executive Decisions click here: Browse plans - Executive Cabinet, 2021 (chorley.gov.uk).
The document is also attached and correct as of 22 September 2021
Members sought clarification about the Executive Decision to Low Cost Home Ownership Scheme - Removal of Eligibility Restrictions for 41 Poplar Drive, Coppull.
Zoe Whiteside, Service Lead - Spatial Planning explained that the eligibility was being removed due to the difficulty of the sale of the property, and the eligibility would be reinstalled for the new owner.
Members also queried Tatton Gardens Policies found at the top of Agenda Page 70, as the age of resident is restricted to the over 55. An update would be returned to Members following the Committee.
Decision: The Notice of Executive Decisions was noted.
To note the update from the Executive Member (Customer and Streetscene Services).
The Chair summarised the update provided by the Executive Member (Customer and Streetscene) following the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Panel that took place 24 June 2021.
Decision: The Customer and Streetscene update was noted.
To consider the Work Plan of Lancashire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee and to note the written update from the Council’s representative on the Committee, Councillor Alex Hilton.
The Chair expressed interest in forming a twice-yearly Committee to explore Health Scrutiny in partnership with South Ribble to receive information directly from the hospitals. The Committee Members endorsed the idea.
Members raised concern with the difficulties some constituents had in accessing vaccinations. Some Members raised that there were yellow cars that transported residents to appointments, whereas other areas had Community Nurses that visited residents that struggled to travel.
No questions were raised by Members regarding Councillor Hilton’s written update.
Decision: The Heath Scrutiny workplan and written update were noted.
To receive and consider the presentation of the Director of Governance.
Chris Moister, Director of Governance presented information to Members and explained first aid at Chorley Council.
The presentation covered:
- Health and safety regulations that related to first aid at the Council.
- The health and safety calculator tool used to decide provisions required.
- The Town Hall’s 13 members of staff first aid trained, which included 6 Civic Services staff. In addition, Lancastrian attendants were all trained in first aid.
- The frequency and availability of first aid training for staff, and how the training was undertaken was monitored.
- Risk management, which included the impact of Covid-19, and the management of returning staff to the office.
- The distribution of responsibility and required assessments and insurance for first aid when Council buildings were used by external parties and organisations.
Members thanked Chris Moister and agreed the importance of first aid.
Members asked, and it was confirmed that knowledge of first aiders and automated external defibrillators (AED) was widely available. It was the responsibility of the Health and Safety Team Leader to maintain the first aid kits and AED’s.
Members suggested that information related to first aid could be incorporated within the new Member inductions and additional information could be distributed via ‘In the Know’ and Member Learning Sessions.
Chris Moister confirmed risk assessments were completed as footfall changed in particular areas, and it was highlighted that AED’s were becoming common place in establishments and all locations were known by 999 operators.
Decision: The report was noted.
To receive and consider the report of the Director of Planning and Development.
The Committee welcomed Zoe Whiteside, Service Lead for Spatial Planning, who provided a monitoring update on Sustainable Public Transport.
21 recommendations were made by the Task Group. In the report, there was a table detailing the update for each recommendation. It was acknowledged that Covid-19 had impacted the progress of some updates.
Key points taken from the report include:
- Canal and Rivers Trust had progressed with work since the publication of the report with meetings arranged to improve certain tow paths in Chorley, which included bridge 74 and 85a.
- Methods of funding had been explored, with options included the strategic Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), but the Council would not fully fund projects and expected funds to be matched.
- The Council had engaged positively with Andrew Varley, Public Transport Manager at Lancashire County Council and was consulting with the bus strategy on behalf of the Council, a further update expected with the next Monitoring Report.
- In preparation for the County Council’s new Highway’s Master Plan, expected Spring 2022, Chorley’s preparation was further ahead than both South Ribble and Preston.
- The Covid-19 pandemic impacted public transport and other methods of transport such as Dial a Ride.
- The Local Plan due to be published Summer 2022, but dependent on evidence gathering and site work assessments.
- The Cycling task group stalled due to lack of response from Members.
Councillor Kim Snape, as Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Task Group: Sustainable Public Transport, praised the work of Alison Marland and Zoe Whiteside. She raised that for recommendations 12 and 13, it was positively acknowledged that a relationship had been formed with the County Council although the Task Group wanted the Council to be proactive, rather than reactive and wait for the consultation to have been completed. She adding that Adlington lacked trains, and the options put forward would impact the service to the station. There was also confusion as an email was received from the County Council claiming to be unaware of Coppull’s rail development aspirations.
Zoe Whiteside informed the Committee of her surprise about the email, as Coppull was mentioned by the County Council representative and was happy to write on behalf of the Task Group of the concerns raised, and noted that Coppull Station was in the third round of the Department of Transport Restoring Railways Fund, but there were 89 other stations that had bid for funding.
Councillors raised that there were worse tow paths than the ones raised, including 73, 75 and 78. It was agreed for an appeal to appear on both ‘In the Know’ and ‘In the Boro’ for feedback relating to towpaths in need of repair or upgrading.
Decision: The Monitoring Report was noted.
To receive and consider the report of the Director of Planning and Development.
The Committee welcomed Sally Green, Climate Change Programme Officer who presented the Monitoring Report for ‘Developing the Council’s Green Agenda’.
Within the report, several key points were highlighted.
- The Climate Change Programme Officer was in the role.
- Recommendations 11 to 24 were split up into 10 strategic themes listed within the report, each with a responsible Officer.
- 5 recommendations have been completed since the previous report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
- The Climate Change Working group currently convened 10 time a year.
- The Council’s carbon footprint from 250 assets had been mapped, with a roadmap and action plan commissioned to begin decarbonization staring with the largest site.
- Dialogue had been established with County Council for electric charging points. Policy change was expected in the coming months, which would enable more power and information delegated. An electric charging consultation was currently underway.
- Progress had stalled with green burial sites. There was ongoing demand for traditional burial sites but the Council possessed no suitable land. The alternative being promoted was for ashes post cremation to be used as fertiliser for a tree and the tree would be the gravestone.
- Work was ongoing with local housing providers to improve the efficiency of Chorley’s housing stock, current target is to have all homes rated C by 2030.
- Climate change information on the Council’s website was updated bi-monthly, and social media had been used to raise knowledge and awareness.
- 26 climate based events planned for all age groups.
Members queried the possibility of electric charging hubs to be installed in school car parks, in conjunction with climate education.
Members praised the idea behind memorial woodlands.
A workshop for Members was planned to inform them of the County Council strategy by the end of the year.
Decision: The Monitoring Report was noted.
Select Move Review
To receive and consider the report of the Director of Communities
The Committee welcomed Jennifer Mullin, Director of Communities who presented a verbal update regarding Select Move, and informed Members that a written report would be distributed following the meeting.
Select Move was highlighted as a partnership Chorley Council was in with Preston Council, South Ribble Borough Council, and a large number of social landlords. March 2021 saw Chorley take the Chair of the partnership. Planned progress was based around three aspects; upgrading the current system, coordination of the partnership, and adjusting tiers and costings.
The current system was deemed outdated and incompatible with modern accessibility guidelines. A new system to be provided by Civica, which would provide detailed data that is currently unavailable to the Council, and it would also provide greater information to users.
All members of the partnership worked according to the service agreement. The Council aimed to employ a Select Move Coordinator who would be responsible for the partners abiding to the agreement and operate fairly.
The introduction of a tiered costing system would allow smaller housing associations to be included within the partnership and to be regulated fairly.
During the pandemic, the user experience of Select Move had worsened, but there was optimism that the experience would improve with ongoing improvements, the installation of a new Housing Manager in role and Select Move Coordinator.
Members expressed disappointment that there was not a written report, and highlighted issues raised by constituents which included the lack of photographs of properties which resulted in residents placing bids on unseen properties. There were also issues with callers being unable to get through, despite calling at the designated time and placed on hold. Jennifer clarified that the phone issue would be resolved imminently, although there were currently several vacancies within the department which caused unintentional delays.
Decision: Members noted the verbal update.
To consider the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2021/22, and to confirm the first Task Group topic.
Members discussed a range of potential Overview and Scrutiny Task Group Topics.
Decision: Members noted the Work Programme